Oilers hope to end long drought in Calgary
OILERS (22-30-6) at FLAMES (28-22-9)
: SNET-W (HD)
: Edmonton 4-4-2; Calgary 5-2-3.
: This is the fifth of six meetings between these fierce rivals. Calgary is 4-0-0 against Edmonton this season, outscoring the Oilers 16-6 along the way. The Flames have won the last nine meetings, and 10 straight at Scotiabank Saddledome.
: February has been awfully kind to the Flames, who have fought their way into playoff contention. Calgary enters Tuesday's action 5-0-3 this month, which allowed it to move into a tie for eighth place in the Western Conference with the Los Angeles Kings.
: Inconsistency has plagued Edmonton this season and will certainly keep them out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Oilers suffered their third straight loss Sunday -- a 5-2 decision against the Vancouver Canucks at Rexall Place. Edmonton has lost five of its last six games and has allowed the first goal in five straight contests.
"You can't play catch-up hockey in today's game," said veteran forward Ryan Smyth. "You have to play with pride, play for your jersey and for your job."
: The remainder of February has the potential of also being kind to Calgary, as Tuesday marks the beginning of a four-game homestand. The Flames return to Scotiabank Saddledome -- where they'll play 9 of their next 12 -- after going 1-0-1 on a brief two-game trip, which concluded with a 1-0 victory at Los Angeles on Saturday.
Goaltending has played a huge role in Calgary's resurgence. Miikka Kiprusoff
has allowed three or fewer goals in 11 of his last 15 starts.
"He's played as good as I've seen him play in his career -- and that's counting the Vezina year (in 2006)," captain Jarome Iginla
said of Kiprusoff. "He's been outstanding all year, and he's enjoying it. He's really into it. He doesn't mind that each game is tight because he loves to compete."
: Magunus Paajarvi has scored twice in the last five games for Edmonton. … Flames forward Michael Cammalleri
has 3 goals in his last four.
: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (shoulder), Corey Potter (groin) and Theo Peckham (concussion) are day-to-day for the Oilers. … Mikael Backlund
(shoulder), Blair Jones
(ankle), Lee Stempniak
(ankle), Curtis Glencross
(knee), Derek Smith
(ankle) and David Moss
(foot) are all out for Calgary.
: Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk is 0-3-1 with a 3.44 goals-against average in five career appearances against the Flames. … Edmonton has not won in Calgary since Oct. 17, 2008.
: "It's a step. We've been battling hard chipping away, getting a point here, point there, win here, and we feel our game is going in the right direction and we've been getting better, so we want to keep it going, but this feels good. This is the start where we want to go, and now we want to keep going. It's going to be a race down to the end and bunch of teams in there, but tonight we'll enjoy it and should. We don't think we've gotten there, by any means, but it's a big win." -- Flames captain Jarome Iginla after Saturday's 1-0 win at Los Angeles